APES Exam--Test Taking Strategies!

Multiple Choice:  100 questions in 90 minutes!

60% of the exam!  (Should take ~1 minute per question)
There is NO penalty if you answer a question incorrectly.  Therefore--guess if you need to!

Discern question type:

     **Negative questions (al of the following EXCEPT)
     **Multiple correct answers (a,b, a & b)
      **Solutions to problems
     **Graph analysis

Essay:  4 essays in 90 minutes!

40% of the exam! (10% for each question!) 
#2 is always a math question! 

Test taking advice:  

**Answer what you can!  Your answers do not have to be in order!  BUT….be sure to label question sections for the readers! (1a, 3d …)

**Be legible! Blue or black ink is preferred!  Pencil tends to smudge during shipping!
**Use complete sentences!  No bullet points nor single word answers!
**Leave a few spaces/lines between each essay!

Document based question:
**Sometimes restating a bit of the contained material helps but not often.  Don't waste time restating the question.  Don't waste time with opinions--just show the science!
**If you make a mistake, line out--you can't use white out!

Data-Analysis Question: (Math)
**This question will start with something that is not math related.  
**The second part of the question usually contains the numbers.
**If you need to use dimensional analysis, indicate ALL units!
**You can earn a set-up point if the calculation is wrong.

Synthesis & Evaluation Questions: (questions 3 & 4)
**Could be an experimental design 
**Indicate control and experimental conditions
**Indicate hypothesis
**Helps to include:
     repeated trials, 
     time to let experiment run
     type of data collected
     type of results expected
**Control should only test 1 variable
**Indiating signficance of results by using statistical methods often results in getting a point.

Key Points:

**If a question asks for a # of items, for examples, list 2 greenhouse gasses, 3 point sources, 2 consequences, etc, then the first two items given will be evaluated, correct or not.  Laundry lists will not gain points on your essay!
**Avoid 6th grade terms -- 'pollution' --> this word is never worth enough on its own.  Give an example of what the pollution is!
**'Hurts the environment' when used by itself is worth nothing.  Change this to 'habitat destruction, etc.--the idea will be more point worthy.  It would be better to EXPLAIN more about the habitat destruction!
**Practice with terms seen in essays:

          *Define (although not used much)
          *Economic effects/incentives (It's not good to use the word subsidies!)
          *Environmental effects
**Vocabulary is the most common stumblish block in all question types.  You may want to study the EP Environmental Science Word List I have posted on my website!

© lbranch 2013